Caricature Plant, Jamaican Croton
Graptophyllum pictum

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Graptophyllum (Grap-toh-FILL-um) (Info)
Species: pictum (PIK-tum) (Info)
Synonym:Graptophyllum hortense
Synonym:Justicia picta

Category:

Shrubs

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Violet/Lavender

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Other details:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Jose, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Miami, Florida (2 reports)

Palm Harbor, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Seminole, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Kihei, Hawaii

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Taft, Texas

Richmond, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

7
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Oct 16, 2012, schmetterling90 from Richmond, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have had a container Graptophyllum for a few months now, and while it was doing quite well initially, it has begun not to look so good. I discovered the cause of its issues: my house cat has been attacking it and eating leaves off of it. Does anyone know if the plant is potentially toxic?

Positive

On Jun 16, 2012, Florida9 from Palm Harbor, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a beautiful plant here in my 9b yard. As others have mentioned, it really does need wet soil during the summer months or it wilts badly but it snaps back quickly. It lost all its leaves during light winter freezes here but grew back quickly. However, for me the main problem has been damage from deer. We have more every year and they really love this plant! I still feel it's worth the effort, and I always have a couple of cuttings started on the patio just in case the deer get carried away.

Positive

On May 23, 2008, Tetrazygia from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Have had this growing along the north side of my house for some years in a very tricky spot with poor, limestoney-sandy soil that gets only very late afternoon sun during the late fall, winter, and early spring, but full sun all day from about May through September.

Almost nothing will take practically no sun for 2/3 of the year and then full sun for summer, but these plants thrive there (I'm assuming it's since its sun-time also correlates with the wet season).

I have three of the same kind and all look great. They are relatively fast growing where I have them and do get pruned. Twice I had to prune them back really hard and they quickly filled in. They have never dropped leaves for me in the winter and I noticed that their roots have spread out over an ... read more

Positive

On Apr 8, 2007, Chris_Lorry from Vero Beach, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Pretty easy plant to maintain. Does like water though. As for cold tolerance, it drops some of it's leaves when we get dry air in the winter. Seems to do this when we drop below 40 degrees. It quickly recovers though. Often before the next cold snap as it keeps growing all winter long here.

Positive

On Sep 27, 2006, Plantcrazii from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is really easy to grow and is also easy to propagate. Take softwood stem cuttings and put them in water and in no time you'll have plenty of roots. This plant has beautiful coloring, green around the edges, then pink and yellow in the center. It is a fabulous plant to grow.

Positive

On Jun 14, 2005, Cearbhaill from Russell, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is another really easy keeper- I have yet to have a problem of any kind. Beautiful and yet doesn't grow so quickly that it needs a lot of maintenance.

Positive

On Sep 24, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plants foliage is so atractive that the showy red/purple flowers are just a secondary atraction. Great for color compositions.

Neutral

On Feb 11, 2002, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

When grown together, these two colours give a magnificient effect.